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UAE Shares Drop as Investors Shun, Shy Away From Emerging Markets

Filed on September 2, 2008

DUBAI — UAE shares dropped on Monday, with investors staying away from emerging markets and foreigners selling their shares.

Dubai’s main index lost 0.4 per cent to close at 4,744.74 while the Abu Dhabi bourse dropped 1.3 per cent at 4,358.13 points.

Amlak Finance, the country’s second-biggest mortgage lender, plunged 1.9 per cent to Dh3.53, its lowest price since October 10 while Dubai Islamic Bank (DIB) slipped 0.1 per cent to Dh7.17.

Tamweel, the biggest mortgage lender in the UAE, also lost on the Dubai Financial Market General Index with a slump of 1.7 per cent to Dh5.86.

The Abu Dhabi-based weekly financial paper Al Mal said that Amlak and DIB are seen to increase their shares during the ongoing Ramadan, which will end on September 30, as Muslim investors stay away from non-Shariah-compliant firms.

Citing a survey on 50 Muslim investors in the UAE, Al Mal said Emaar Properties topped the list among the stocks to be deserted by these investors.

Emaar, the biggest real-estate developer in the Middle East, fell 0.5 per cent to Dh9.06.

“The markets are very quiet and foreigners are not buying so much,” said Ann Marie Browne, of the Foreign Institutional Sales at Al Futtaim HC Securities. “And the markets are not really performing in the summer months.”

She added that investors are also reducing their exposure to emerging markets in the region due to geopolitical issues such as Teheran’s tiff with Washington over Iran’s nuclear programme.

Aldar Properties fell on the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange General Index for the first time in three days.

The biggest developer in Abu Dhabi slipped 4.1 per cent to Dh9.32 while National Bank of Abu Dhabi declined 0.3 per cent to Dh17.50.

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